|Rome - February 2015
The statutes the Vicariate of the Antilles ANT (CAS) were confirmed. The date and place of the Intermediate Chapter of the Province of Castile (CAS) were approved. An invitation to the council was shared regarding the General Assembly of the Augustinian Superiors in Europe which will be in Malta, from April 27-May 1, 2015 . The Council discussed and approved the Statutes of the International House of St. Augustine Friary in Nairobi, Kenya. The modifications of the Statutes of the Vicariate of Panama were confirmed. Modifications to the statutes of the Vicariate of Panama were confirmed. The Acts and the modifications to the Statutes of the General Assembly of Augustinians in Latin America (OALA) were approved. The date and place of the Intermediate Chapter of the Province of Brazil were approved.
The intermediate General Chapter will be held in Abuja, Nigeria September 18-30, 2016.
Discussion and decisions were made regarding various dispensations, changes and requests of Friars. Nominations for membership to various commissions were also approved.
The General Council met as the Administrative Council of the Foundation to review and discuss the Strategic Plan. The Foundation is still in the early stages of development and action.
The Prior General and each Assistant General presented a summary the work of the international commissions and also a summary of various chapters, assemblies and visits.
Alejandro Moral informed the Council of his personal visit with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, which took place in the Apostolic Palace on January 26th. The Holy Father expressed his gratefulness to the Augustinians who are ministering throughout the world. He made special note of the bishops nominated in 2014. The Holy Father is also grateful for the work of our brothers in the Pontifical Sacristy community. Pope Francis shared his concern regarding attention that is always needed regarding the acceptance and the initial formation of candidates for solemn profession and priesthood. Alejandro also informed the council of his participation at the Episcopal Ordination of Robert Prevost in Peru, and his visit in Chile. He updated the council on situations in the Czech Republic and Brazil. He informed the Council regarding the funeral of Bishop James Damon and the Ordination of Bishop Donatus Ogun along with his participation at the AFA meeting in the Benin Republic.
Franz Klein discussed with the Council the work of the Secretariat for Social Communication, OSA INT, and the function of the internet and web-site of the Order. The council approved an annual publication which will replace OSA int. The council approved an office for Communication which will be held by a Friar. The establishment of this office is in response to Determination 29 of the Ordinary General Chapter of 2013. Franz also updated the council on his visits to Czech Republic, Belgium, and the meeting of the Secretariat for Social Communication in Mexico. Work is being finalized regarding an international meeting in January 2016 of Friars responsible for Communication in our Circumscriptions.
Anthony Banks discussed the tasks of the Finance Commission with emphasis on the work of advancement and the development of a financial plan and foundation for the Order. He advised the Council of the international Vocation gathering which will take place in November 2015 in Cebu, Philippines. He also updated the council on situations in Korea, Hong Kong, Papua, China, India, Australia and the Philippines.
Patricio Villalba updated the council on his visits and meetings and the work of the Commission for Laity. He also informed the council on the work of the Commission for Peace and Justice including our work and presence at the United Nations. He updated the Council on his visits and meetings in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, and Chile.
Luis Marin presented the work from the recent meeting of the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality and the development of the new WebPage for the Institute. He also presented the work of a new web Page for the Archives. The English participants for the Course of Augustinian Spirituality have arrived and the opening Mass of the Holy Spirit was celebrated on February 13, 2015. Luis gave a retreat to the Novitiate community in Santiago, Chile and he updated the council on progress of the discussions regarding a union among the Provinces of Spain.
Edward Daleng updated the council on the work of the Commission for Youth and the International gathering which will take place from July 19-25, 2016 in the Czech Republic. The International World Youth Day will take place 25-31 July, 2016 in Krakovia, Poland. He also provided an update on the AFA meeting which took place in February. The Commission for Evangelization and Pastoral Ministry continues its preparation for an international gathering in July, 2017.
Joseph Farrell discussed his participation at the Provincial Chapter held in San Diego California and his participation at the OALA Assembly in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Formation Committee is preparing for a workshop for formators in the OALA region in November 2015. The common novitiate (9 circumscriptions) in Lima Peru began on January 25th with 14 Novices. There will be a meeting of the major superiors to review the Novitiate Formation Plan at the novitiate in July, 2015. The commission on Education met in Dublin in November 2014 and is working on an international encounter for Educators in the summer of 2017. There will be a meeting at Villanova University at the end of November 2015 for the directors of our Augustinian Schools of Higher Education. (Universities).
The Economo General presented the Council with a budget for 2014-2015 for the Order’s representation at the United Nations. This budget was approved with minor changes. Requests for scholarships were reviewed and approved. Other scholarships provided by the generosity of various circumscriptions were assigned to individual students. Those circumscriptions will be advised regarding who is receiving the scholarship. The council also reviewed the new contract proposals for those who rent space from the Order in Rome. Other items included a review of proposed costs for new heating/air conditioning system in the Curia and also the ongoing contracts with Lawyers who assist us.
The Year of Consecrated Life, 30 November 2014- 2 February 2016, is an opportunity for the Order and for the individual circumscriptions to celebrate our vocations as religious called to Consecrated Life. There is a reunion of our Augustinian Contemplative Sisters which will be held in Cascia, Italy 5-9 October, 2015. Other projects are also being developed to enrich the year.
Immediate attention is needed regarding the continuation of our Augustinian communities in Cuba and Annaba.
The president of the Augustinian Patristic Institute, Robert Dodaro along with Maurizio Saavedra met with the Council to discuss various projects and plans for the future of the institute. Special attention was paid to the students and the program of the First Cycle.
The Prior General and Assistants worked on developing the calendar of canonical visitations, chapters and assemblies for the next five years.
The postulator general and the prior general updated the council on developments in the Province of Brazil. The prior general and assistant general for Northern Europe updated the council on developments in the community in Brno, Czech Republic. The Prior General gave a summary of his meeting with the Vicar General and all of the Augustinians who work at the Patristic Institute.